11 Ways to Get Your Self-published Book into Bookstores

Last Updated on September 25, 2022 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD


There’s no doubt that self-publishing has become an increasingly popular option for authors. Not only is it cheaper than traditional publishing, but it also allows you to control the entire process from start to finish. This article discusses 11 strategies for getting your self-published book into bookstores. From submitting your manuscript to agents and publishers to selling your books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, we’ll help you get your book into the hands of as many readers as possible!

Top 11 Ways to Get Your Self-Published Book Into Bookstores

Selling books is a love for independent booksellers, much as writing novels is a love and profession for authors. Yet, that doesn’t mean they can do everything for the pet. Although independent booksellers are recognized for being excellent neighborhood meeting places with staff that genuinely care about books, they can’t do it all.

Independent booksellers need you and your book for survival, so everyone must find a way to make a living in this trade. Everyone must do so for you and your book to succeed.

1 – They may not accept Amazon, guys!

Before you boast about how well your book is selling, consider the fierce competition that indie booksellers face. Whether you’re a traditionally published or self-published author, it’s great to see success on Amazon.

IngramSpark’s one-way self-publishing service is especially suited to help indie writers achieve tremendous success in this retail market, and Amazon is their major competitor. Because their sales of books sold via Amazon KDP ultimately profit from their biggest competitor, independent booksellers reject stocking them.

2 – Become your own sales force!

Traditional publishers employ salespeople to go to bookstores and persuade them to stock books that the publisher wishes to promote with binders full of those books. You must duplicate the process but with your book. In summary, you must establish your own sales team.

3 – Make a hybrid discount strategy

Wholesale discounts aren’t always zero. Bookstores don’t need the total 40% discount, but they don’t want to carry your book at a 15% discount. A discount rate somewhere in between may work best for your own sales strategy if you have a way to bring people into the door consistently.

4 – Become a good customer too!

More than just a store to buy a book, indie booksellers are constantly changing. Indie bookstores are community meeting places that promote local culture, offer publishing services, host author events, and foster publishing activities. Consider how your book connects to the bookstore and community when pitching it to an indie bookseller. If you serve them, they’re more likely to support you.

5 – Know the demographics of a bookstore!

A bookstore owner wants to check to guarantee your book appeals to their consumers. Only a specific genre may be carried in niche bookstores. Know who you’re writing for and what genre you’re in. Clearly and concisely, explain what your book is about. That will allow you to assess better whether it matches their readership if you and the bookstore. To understand your target customers, spend enough time at the store. If your readers don’t shop at that type of bookstore, their readers won’t be yours.’

6 – Think local!

Your book has a home-court advantage when it comes to local booksellers. Promoting local authors is a common practice among booksellers. Instead of calling, go to your local bookstore and talk to them in person. Give them a complimentary copy of your book and promotional materials so that they may publicize your status as a local author. You’ll be an instant favorite if you mix that with a solid presentation for a local event that attracts people.

7 – Have some ways to bring a crowd!

Book signings have changed, and so has the way we do them. Just having a book signing isn’t enough to entice people. They’ll be much more interested if you can arrange a book signing coordinated with a local media interview (to promote the event). They may have you sign a few extra books so they may sell them later as autographed versions, and they might stock them for the occasion. Unless you’re confident you’ll be able to sell enough books to justify the risk (and the 40% off), don’t pitch it.

8 – Always craft a compelling pitch!

Publishers’ sales teams do not persuade bookstore owners that their books are valuable. Instead, they attempt to sell the books to them by convincing them. There’s a huge difference. A bookseller may fall in love with a specific title and try to promote it as much as possible. That’s the dream scenario for an indie author. However, the more you show that you contribute to increased demand, the better.

9 – Make it quickly shelved!

The bookstore must be able to store your book quickly. In addition, booksellers want something so different that it’s challenging to keep. To find out what individuals will look for when encountering your book, you should visit many stores and libraries and go online. If you are convinced that your book is one-of-a-kind and there is no way anyone else could create it, then you should do this.

10 – Market via IndieBound also!

You should include IndieBound.org in addition to Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble when directing readers to your author’s website, advertising, and marketing materials. By linking purchasers of your book to independent booksellers in their area, IndieBound helps local businesses sell your books.

It would be best if you represented IndieBound alongside other retailers. It shows that you are an accomplished writer, and actively promoting sales of your book at small independent retailers will help to sell your book locally. This way, you also allow readers to select to buy from an indie bookstore.

11 – Price it appropriately!

Make sure the price of your book is fair. Certain publications are more like manuals and textbooks; you won’t be printing many copies of them, or they’re so popular that you can charge a premium price. Some might have a lower price because they are more about brain candy, fluff, or impulse buys. Again, your market research is critical here.

Final Words

Getting your self-published book into bookstores is not an easy task. Therefore, you can get there by applying the advice and tactics provided on this website! By researching and planning, you’ll be well on your way to having your self-published book in bookstores within no time! Thanks for reading, and we hope that you found this helpful blog.


1 – Do Barnes and Noble accept self-published books?

Answer: Barnes and Noble do not currently accept self-published books, but this may change in the future. If you are a self-published author and want to sell your book through Barnes and Noble, please contact them for more information.

2 – How do booksellers obtain books from publishers?

Answer: The publisher usually distributes print-run copies of a novel to booksellers when it is released. Once the publishing contract is signed, this process takes roughly two months. Once a bookstore has received all the copies it ordered and decided which ones to put on shelves, it contacts the publishers and requests that they send more documents.
Bookstores generally pay retailers set amounts per copy for each title regardless of how many are sold or borrowed from lending libraries. Usually, publishers receive 85% of net sales (after deducting shipping costs), but there may be different percentages depending on where in the world you bought your copy.

3 – How are books distributed to bookstores?

Answer: Books are often distributed to bookstores via publisher’s wholesalers or direct from the author. Once a bookstore receives an order, it will contact the wholesaler and schedule a pick-up time. The distributor then arranges for delivery to the store.







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